After recently reading Kevin Schwoer’s excellent opening issue of The Signal it just made sense that I’d catch-up with him on his influences, what we can expect from him next and everything in between.
What was the first title you worked on?
Growing up I read everything I could find on Richard Matheson, HP Lovecraft, and Stephen King. Maybe due to my love of comics, I found that short form storytelling (novellas, short stories, comics) were my favorite. It takes skill to deliver a compelling story in only 22 pages for a comic or 100 so in a short story. So my first venture into writing came as a short story collection called “The Days the World Slept”. It was a collection of all the film ideas I had as a young kid.
The collection was a sobering experience and one that I hate/love to think about. I’m proud that it came together and that I did it, but just like anything one produces, I can’t help but look back and try to improve the stories retroactively. But that is part of the growth of creating anything.
How has your work changed since then?
I used to think that it was fun to write about things I didn’t know so I could then go and research these ideas and talk to people about them. But over time I have found that instead of writing some over the top superhero story full of crazy concepts, that I would write closer to my heart. My ideas spring from the people and things around me and thus keep them grounded. While THE SIGNAL is a science fiction story with plenty of over the top concepts, it is really a story about Annie, a real and grounded person that faces all the hardships and triumphs that we face.
Who are your main influences?
I mentioned my main literary references, but my comic references are Geoff Johns, Alan Moore, and Scott Snyder. Alan Moore’s SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING changed the way I think of comics. Not a lot of people are aware of his first foray into comics, but Moore’s concepts of who and what Swamp Thing is was really groundbreaking stuff. Geoff’s run on GREEN LANTERN changed the way I read comics. I literally could not ingest enough Green Lantern while Johns was working on this book. And Scott Snyder’s BATMAN changed the way I care about comics. Scott’s layered stories focusing on the emotionality of Batman while driving it with high concept stories really shows what is possible in comics.
What comics are you reading just now?
I read a bunch of DC, Marvel, and Image comics. Right now I would have to say that MIGHTY THOR might be my favorite comic. Jason Aaron has really redefined the Thor books in a way that makes it contemporary and relevant. Plus the art is just amazing!
What’s the best thing about creating comics?
The first time you see art come in from something you have written. Seeing someone take your words and interpret their meaning in beautiful and amazing ways really is the most exhilarating thing I can think of in my time working on The Signal.
Neil Anderson’s art is so good, so clean, clear, and precise, I would just be in awe when he would email me pages. He’s really gifted at finding the best way to present the scene or scenario, often adding pages or panels to make it work or breathe a little.
What are you working on just now?
My main focus is finishing The Signal. It is a 6-part series that we hope to complete one day, but publishing a comic is expensive. So right now we are continuing to build awareness and promote the book. We will be launching a Kickstarter in a few months which will be a big help.
Other than that, I do have a few ideas on other projects. I wouldn’t call them comics per-say, since they would break all the conventional rules of what a comic is, but they would be available to read in something that looks like a comic!